Audite - 3 CDs - 21.456 - (p) 2019


Compact Disc 1

Gaetano Donizetti (1841-1904) String Quartet No. 7 in F minor
22' 24"

- Agitatissimo 5' 48"

- Adagio, ma non troppo
5' 30"

- Presto 4' 51"

- Marcia lugubre 6' 15"

Luigi Cherubini (1760-1842) String Quartet No. 5 in F major
25' 37"

- Moderato assai - Allegro
7' 55"

- Adagio 6' 49"

- Scherzo. Allegro non troppo 5' 38"

- Finale. Allegro vivace 5' 15"

Gian Francesco Malipiero (1882-1973) String Quartet No. 4
15' 11"

- Allegro 8' 29"

- Allegro 6' 42"

Compact Disc 2

Dmitri Shostakowich (1906-1975) String Quartet No. 7 in F-sharp minor, Op. 108
13' 14"

- Allegretto
3' 32"

- Lento 4' 05"

- Allegro 5' 37"

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) String Quartet in F major
30' 44"

- Allegro moderato
8' 44"

- Assez vif. Très rythmé 6' 58"

- Très lent
9' 05"

- Vit et agité 5' 57"

Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
String Quartet No. 8 in B-flat major, Op. 168 (D 112)
32' 34"

- Allegro ma non troppo
11' 31"

- Andante sostenuto
10' 13"

- Menuetto. Allegro
5' 59"

- Presto
4' 51"

Compact Disc 3

Robert Schumann (1810-1856) String Quartet No. 2 in F major, Op. 41 no. 2
21' 32"

- Allegro vivace
6' 05"

- Andante, quasi Variazioni
8' 13"

- Scherzo. Presto - Trio. L'istesso tempo - Coda
3' 04"

- Allegro molto vivace
4' 10"

Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) String Quartet in G major, Op. 77 no. 1 (Hob. III:81)
21' 53"

- Allegro moderato
5' 41"

- Adagio 7' 53"

- Menuetto. Presto
4' 47"

- Finale. Presto
3' 32"

Robert Schumann String Quartet No. 3 in A major, Op. 41 no. 3
29' 26"

- Andante espressivo - Allegro molto moderato 5' 54"

- Assai agitato
7' 51"

- Adagio molto
8' 17"

- Finale. Allegro molto vivace
7' 24"

- Paolo Borciani, Elisa Pegreffi, violino
- Piero Farulli, viola
- Franco Rossi, violoncello


Luogo e data di registrazione
Studio 7, RIAS Funkhaus, Berlin (Germania) - 18 ottobre 1959 - (Donizetti, Ravel)
Siemensvilla, Berlin-Lankwitz (Germania) - 13 ottobre 1958 - (Cherubini, Schumann Op. 41/3)
Siemensvilla, Berlin-Lankwitz (Germania) - 13 ottobre 1963 - (Malipiero, Shostakovich)
Siemensvilla, Berlin-Lankwitz (Germania) - 25 febbraio 1951 - (Schubert)
Siemensvilla, Berlin-Lankwitz (Germania) - 26 febbraio 1951 - (Schumann Op. 41/2, Haydn)

Registrazione: live / studio

Producer / Engineer
Salomon (1951), Reuschel (1958 & 1963, Destinn (1959 | Heinz Opitz (1951, 1958 & 1959), Kiehn (1963)

Prima Edizione LP

Prima Edizione CD
Audite | 21.456 | 3 CDs - 63' 19" - 76' 38" - 72' 59" | (p) 2019 | ADD

Registrazioni della RIAS di Berlino (licenza Deutschlandradio)

The Quartetto Italiano visits Berlin at the RIAS
A notable aspect of the repertoire that the Quartetto Italiano recorded from l95l to 1963 at Berlin's RIAS Studios (where the programs of Deutschlandfunk Kultur are produced today) is that besides the two quartets of Haydn and Ravel, it consists of works that had not yet entered the standard repertoire at the time (and some of which have yet to enter it today). In contrast to the Amadeus Quartet, whose chief focus was always on the core repertoire, the classics, the Quartetto Italiano was eager to surprise their audience in their concerts (and initially with their recordings as well). Another surprising facet is their interpretive approach, which can be heard most clearly in the present recording of Maurice Ravel’s Quartet: to an even greater extent than in the later LP recording, the work is liberated from impressionistic al fresco playing. The form is built up from the smallest units, which are meticulously worked through and at the same time joined together under a sweeping arc. The dominance of the upper voice - a central feature of classical string quartet writing is the homogeneity and equality of all four voices -is broken in favor of the middle voices, which never serve an incidental role or merely as filling. Those who miss the Parisian fin-de-siécle flair, perhaps finding a certain soberness in its place, are compensated by a very clear and meticulous presentation of the score - here the music shines in the bright southern midday sun. That this is not to be confused with soberness is also attested to by the fact that the Quartetto Italiano approached other “temptations” in the very same way, as with the previously-mentioned Serenade by Hofstetter, an innocuous yet pretty Rococo piece that practically invites a saccharine interpretation. One of the principles of the Quartetto Italiano seems to have been to push the limits of the possible to the extreme through intensive rehearsing, but without ever exceeding these limits - this could already be heard in their early recordings, as well as in these radio productions. In the review of the concert on September 23, 1977 published in the Berliner Morgenpost, we can read the following somewhat humorous characterization of the quartet: “Paolo Borciani is first and foremost an aesthete who sees to it that he does not attract too much attention. His temperament is restrained, not exactly sleepy, but not necessarily of the leading dominance one expects from a first violinist. His antipode is the second violinist, Elisa Pegreffi, undoubtedly the most interesting and distinctive personality in the ensemble. Bursting with energy and nervously excitable, she loses no opportunity in drawing from her part the utmost in characterization. Piero Farulli, the violist, loves a big, full sound. Sometimes he seems to suffer from the fact that a string quartet cannot be turned into a viola concerto. And so his powerful musicality is usually overshadowed by a touch of melancholy. I cannot think of anything special to say about Franco Rossi. He simply plays the cello competently.” (In the interest of fairness: regarding the judgement of the cellist, it should be mentioned that this review was written only three years before the dissolution of the ensemble, when certain signs of fatigue had already become apparent).
The Quartetto Italiano appeared a total of ten times in Berlin concert halls between l95l and 1979. During the first four times, a production in the RIAS Studios was on the agenda a day before or after the concert. The fact that they were already invited to the RIAS on the occasion of their first Berlin concert on February 26, 1952 at the Haus am Waldsee, which was virtually ignored by the critics, is a testament to the farsightedness and unerring instinct of the studio’s legendary music division director of the time, Elsa Schiller. With this release, the string quartets of Luigi Cherubini, Gaetano Donizetti, and Dmitri Shostakovich can be heard performed by the Quartetto Italiano for the first time ever on CD
Rüdiger Albrecht
(Translation: Aaron Epstein)